Wednesday 13 November 2019

Barrett needs Munster 'miracle'

Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett
Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett

Tipperary hurling boss Liam Sheedy has suggested that Cathal Barrett would need "a miracle" to feature in their Munster final showdown with Limerick on Sunday week.

This follows earlier confirmation that long-serving forward Patrick 'Bonner' Maher ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during last Sunday's Munster round-robin defeat to Limerick.

With Maher doomed to miss the rest of Tipp's campaign, the indications are that the hamstrung Barrett, an All Star corner-back in 2016, will sit out their Munster final rematch with the All-Ireland champions at the Gaelic Grounds.

Both players departed through injury in the closing stages of the first half in Thurles, with Maher stretchered off.

"Cathal is having a scan tonight," Sheedy said yesterday, "but it was a hamstring pull and it would be a miracle if he played in the final.

"The big risk then is that he rushes back and then 'pings' the hamstring again and that's the end of him for the entire 2019 campaign," the Tipp boss added.

"People are saying that Cathal was able to walk off the pitch last Sunday, but there's a world of difference between that and running around after a nippy Limerick forward in less than a fortnight."

Meanwhile, former Cork forward Colm O'Neill, who was forced to call time with the Rebels at the end of last season, doesn't see their Munster decider with Kerry unfolding as most predict.

Kerry are red-hot favourites (1/8) to prevail but Ronan McCarthy's side have a recent challenge game victory over All-Ireland champions Dublin under their belts and O'Neill is urging them to "go for the jugular".

"I'm getting the sense from people I'm chatting to in the street and things, I definitely think there's belief in the squad. I definitely do think they're capable of turning them over," a confident O'Neill said.

"I was at the Limerick match and the way Cork played, they were feeling sharp and they took the game, they didn't sit back. They actually went after Limerick.

"I hope they can go and... if you sit back and draw Kerry on to you, with the forwards they have they're going to punish you so I'd hope that they go after Kerry and go for the jugular."

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